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Generic Types of Engineering Careers
  

Operations / Manufacturing

This category of engineer is very similar to the support and service engineer discussed earlier. The difference is that in this case, their customers are internal rather than external.

Most of these engineers will be employed in factories. Operations engineers can be divided into the following categories:

  • Maintenance – keeping machines running
  • Production – keeping production lines running.
  • Process – keeping manufacturing processes optimized
  • Procurement – supporting suppliers to ensure delivery and quality.
  • Quality – maintaining and improving the company’s quality system to assure product quality and regulatory standards compliance

The list of possible iterations on the job of the engineer in operations is a long one and the above show a sample of the most common categories.

In general, we can say that the operations engineer’s job is to keep a manufacturing process in a factory to be as optimized as possible. To be sure, it is not correct to assume that all this is sustaining work. On the contrary. In this environment, the engineer is challenged with a non-ending list of opportunities to work on. I would say that this is one job category where the number of possible projects that an engineer can work on will far exceed the capacity to do them.

The ability to prioritize them based on technology, cost, impact, risk, quality etc will need to be made at this level.

An operations engineer in general is not a specialist. They are responsible for technologies that are very diverse, as you can expect in a factory. They are generalists, with the ability to integrate different technologies and management tools to address issues. They will need to have sufficient depth of knowledge to maintain the operation while at the same time, have the ability to formulate integrated technical initiatives to address a wide array of problems. The engineer may not be a specialist, but will need to have the ability to source other specialists and deploy them to be part of the solution team.

To be sure, this is not an easy task by any measure. As a career path, this is a good starting point towards a project leadership or management career. On the engineering path, this job will prepare the engineer for almost any other job categories in the market.

Here are some key successful characteristics for an operations engineer:

  • A generalist – knows many technologies and have the ability to integrate them to solve problems
  • Leadership – ability to identify opportunities for improvement and source skills to help address them.
  • Networking – among peers in other fields and suppliers.
  • Problem solver – an analytical mind that can design and work with statistical data to reach conclusions.
  • Operations tools – statistics, quality, design of experiments, measurement.
  • Influence – ability to influence others to support ideas and initiatives.
  
  
 

For branding of the institute, Institutes may take appointment of Prof. Vijay Navale for career guidance seminars.

Contact : Prof. Vijay Navale : +91-9822502969

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